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Phoenix Motorcars, EasyMile win grant for development of first FMVSS-compliant autonomous shuttle bus in US

The city of Houston is set to receive the first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Buy America-compliant mid-size autonomous bus in the US.

Jointly developed by Phoenix Motorcars and EasyMile, the EZ Zeus self-driving bus will be deployed in real-life traffic conditions. Furthering its success in powering traditional medium-duty shuttles and trucks with its cutting-edge electric drivetrain technology, Phoenix Motorcars will integrate EasyMile’s driverless technology to its range of zero emission vehicles.


The news comes as part of Houston Metro being selected among projects to receive funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) grant of nearly $1.5 million. It will develop an autonomous vehicle technology prototype for private or public roads at 12-15 mph in 12 months from launch date, with further operation for 12 months of testing.

The autonomous bus will serve Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and Houston’s Third Ward community connecting to Metro buses and light rail.

Phoenix Motorcars and Easy Mile will develop this Class 4 Medium-Duty Zero-Emission Shuttle Bus with Level 4 Autonomy that aims to:

  • Introduce autonomy in a variety of bus depot use cases and, ultimately, deploy on public roads;

  • Provide invaluable initial feedback in the development of this industry;

  • Leverage prior experience in launching EasyMile’s driverless technology;

  • Provide integration with Phoenix Motorcars’ proven Class 4 zero-emission drive system;

  • Support existing agency initiatives around improved safety and energy efficiency via innovative technologies; and

  • As the inaugural class of AIM incubators, provide industry leadership in sharing project outcomes with the public transportation community.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Ontario, California, Phoenix Motorcars develops, deploys, and services all electric drive systems for electric commercial vehicles. The company’s electric vehicles have logged more than 2.3-million zero emission miles.

EasyMile has developed and deployed autonomous mobility solutions worldwide based on vehicles manufactured by recognized industrial partners. The company has already deployed more than 300 driverless projects in 30 countries and travelled more than 450,000 miles.


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